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مجموعه: کتاب های فوق متوسط / کتاب: لورنا دون / درس 18

کتاب های فوق متوسط

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Chapter 17 The End of the Story

Soon after this, Lord Brandir died. The king gave his permission for Lorna to marry me. She came back from London, and everything was arranged for our marriage. Many people came to the wedding.

That day, Lorna looked more beautiful than I had ever seen her. I put the wedding ring on her finger and she looked up at me. Just then, there was the sound of a shot and Lorna fell across my knees. There was blood on the white stone of the floor and on her white dress. Her face was white as snow, and she was cold, so cold. I placed her in my mother’s arms and then I went out to find the man who had done this thing. I knew who it was — Carver!

I had no gun, only my hands to kill him with. I knew that Carver had a gun, but I did not care. Men moved quickly away from me as I rode up the hill. My horse flew like the wind and soon, in the distance, I saw a man on a great black horse. I knew that it was Carver.

‘It’s Carver’s life or mine!’ I said to myself.

I saw that he was carrying little Ensie, his son, in front of him. For some time he did not realize that I was following him.

Then he came to a narrow passage in the rocks, turned and saw me. He tried to ride faster, but his horse was tired. He could not turn his horse round and fire, because the passage was too narrow. As I went past a tree, I pulled off a great branch and carried it with me.

Carver rode round a corner and came suddenly to the edge of the marsh. This part of the marsh is dangerous because there are areas of very soft, deep mud. Men have to go carefully there. If they don’t, they can sink into the mud and disappear. Carver turned and fired his gun at me. The shot struck me somewhere, but I did not care. I thought of nothing but my enemy.

Suddenly, Carver rode straight at me. I struck his horse with the branch and the animal fell to the ground. Carver fell with it, and Lorna’s diamond necklace fell from his pocket. For some minutes he could not get up. I jumped off my horse and seized the necklace. The little boy, Ensie, ran to me and looked up at me with fear in his eyes.

‘Ensie, dear,’ I said quietly, ‘run back round the corner and find some flowers for the pretty lady in the church.’

He ran away. Carver stood up and looked round for his gun, but I had thrown it away. He only had his hands to fight with. I allowed him to come forward. Suddenly he seized me and broke a bone in my side. I caught his neck. He tried to free himself from my hands, but he could not move and I pushed him away.

‘I’ll stop now,’ I said. ‘You’re beaten. Go — and learn to be a better man.’

But his feet had gone into the black mud. He went down very fast, deeper and deeper. The mud received him like the lips of death. He threw up his arms to heaven and there was terror on his face. I wanted to help him, but I was very weak after our fight and I could not save him.

He went down into the black mud and disappeared. It was the most terrible thing that I had ever seen.

When the little boy came back with his flowers, there was only black mud where his father had been. I took him in my arms and climbed onto my horse.

I rode back home, feeling that I was in a dream. When I came to the door of my house, I fell off the horse. The women took the boy. Mother came out and helped me inside.

‘He killed Lorna, and now I’ve killed him,’ I said, giving her the necklace. ‘Now let me see her. She’s dead, but she’s still mine.’

‘She isn’t dead,’ said my mother. ‘But you mustn’t go to her like this, covered with blood.’ She led me to my room.

For days, Lorna lay between life and death. I too was very ill because Carver had hurt me badly, but I only cared about Lorna.

Why should I want to live without her? I looked at my hands, which had been so strong and now seemed as weak as a child’s.

Slowly, Lorna came back to life. One morning the door opened, and my sister Annie came in. Behind her was Lorna.

Annie left, shutting the door behind her, and my wife came to me. She kissed me, and life returned to me.

And so the story ends. We sent Carver’s son to school, and he is now a good, brave young man who thinks of me as his father. I will not say any more about the woman I love. But year after year, Lorna’s beauty and kindness grow, and our love and happiness grow with it.

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